How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is presented in a well done anamorphically enhanced widescreen transfer in the film’s theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. For whatever reason, Paramount’s transfer is rather average considering it’s such a recent release. It’s also pretty surprising because I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing quite a few Paramount discs of late and the studio has managed to produce a really nice string of outstanding transfers. All that being said, How To Lose still manages to look well above-average and should please most fans of romantic comedies who don’t necessarily concern themselves with many of the nit-picky things we reviewers do.
Sharpness and detail were pretty middling, as the film maintained a slightly soft and dreamy look to it – like many romantic comedies usually do. It wasn’t overtly grainy by any means and the softness was probably as much intentional as anything else. Colors were pretty standard, although they were properly balanced and saturated without any bleeding or smearing noted. Fleshtones remained accurate and pleasing throughout, with rather generic and low-key black levels that produced respectable shadow detail and delineation.
Flaws with the print manifested themselves in the form of edge enhancement and some slight grain. There were also a good amount of print flaws noted on the transfer, as flakes, specks, and dirt were noted on the print throughout the film. This was somewhat surprising considering the DVD will more than likely do bang-up business at the cash register.
Overall, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days was a good transfer, but far from Paramount’s much better efforts of late. The studio has been on such on winning streak however, that it’s hard to hold How To Lose against them. This was nothing more than an anomaly in a long line of winning transfers from the studio.
Paramount has given the film a Dolby Digital 5.1 that sounds about average for a film in its genre. You never expect a romantic comedy to offer up much in the way of sonic envelopment and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days doesn’t do anything to break the trend. It’s a pretty flaccid mix that rarely strays from the front surrounds and doesn’t do much to envelop the viewer in any way, shape, or form.
Your surrounds are rarely engaged during the film and most of the “action” stays firmly entrenched in your front surrounds. Granted, there were some ambient moments in the film that engaged your surrounds somewhat, but it’s nothing you haven’t heard before and done better elsewhere. Effects might as well have been non-existent – as was any impressive or notable LFE action – and dialogue remained the major player in this particular track. Being such, it was always front, center and intelligible, with only one or two occasions noted where the proceedings became slightly muffled. It was nothing to concern yourself over, but it was noted nonetheless. As mentioned previously, LFE usage was pretty reserved, while the film’s score received a decent mix with average dynamics and fidelity.
Paramount has also given How To Lose an English and French Dolby 2.0 Surround track, as well as English subtitles. This was an acceptable mix to be sure, but Paramount is definitely capable of much better as evidenced by the other DVDs we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing from them of late here at DVDMG. Ultimately, the film sounded good, but definitely not great.
Paramount has added a decent roster of extras to How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, but it’s far from true “Special Edition” treatment. First out of the gate is an audio commentary with director Donald Petrie. The commentary is as light and breezy as the film itself and there are some decent tidbits thrown out during Petrie’s screen specific commentary. That being said, I can’t imagine why anyone other than hardcore fans of the film or its principals would care. Petrie offers up a good discussion of the film, as well as his methods, and fans will more than likely enjoy what he has to say.
Mapping Out The Perfect Movie is next and is divided up into fifteen completely useless “chapters” – broken down by subjects such as actor / director / screenwriter(s) / author(s) / producer(s) / etc - and unfortunately, there is no selectable –PLAY ALL- option. After you’ve finished clicking through all of the selectable options, this is your standard, run-of-the-mill, featurette that doesn’t bring a whole lot new to the table. While it’s interesting in parts, there are hardly any earth-shattering tidbits gleaned from the feature. Worth a look, but hardly worth fifteen clicks on the remote. The individual featurettes run anywhere from two to well over twelve minutes each, with the longest feature clocking in around fifteen minutes or so with the total running time for all of the features just under an hour. The featurette was put together using a mixture of interviews, clips from behind-the-scenes, and clips from the film itself.
Following, we see five Deleted Scenes (“Alternate Opening Sequence”, “Puppy Palace”, “Getting Ready For Staten Island”, “After The Bull$hit Game”, and “Bookend – Andie Dumped”) and we have the option of viewing the scenes with or without commentary, as well as having the option of using the –PLAY ALL- feature. The director’s commentary makes the scenes slightly more interesting, but none of the deleted scenes in and of themselves would have helped the movie too much. In total, the scenes run for a little under nine minutes.
Mapping Out The Perfect Scene is next and here, we are presented with a map of Manhattan. There are nine selections to choose from and by clicking on the location, we are taken to a quickie clip that fills us in a little more on that particular location. Again, there is no –PLAY ALL- feature to utilize here and your thumb starts getting cramps before you’ve worked your way through all of the locations featured here. Using the same mixture of interviews, clips from the film, and clips from behind-the-scenes, this remained only a slightly interesting featurette.
A Music Video is next and it’s for the song “Somebody Like You” from Keith Urban. It’s in widescreen and Dolby 2.0 and not much to write home about.
As with most other Paramount DVDs of late, we also have Previews for other Paramount films - The Core (coming soon to DVD), the upcoming Tomb Raider II feature, and the Indiana Jones DVD Trilogy.
Let me break it down real simple - How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is cut from the same cloth as 99.999% of all other romantic comedies in the last 5 years. It offers nothing new to the genre and if you have found yourself enjoying any Hugh Grant/Sandra Bullock/Jennifer Lopez vehicle of late, you’ll enjoy How To Lose. It’s an easy buy decision for fans of the film or its principals, and a rainy day/date rental for everyone else. The DVD is solid and hardcore fans will find little to fuss about with Paramount’s solid effort.